This is a very important question as there are many academic writing styles like the MLA style, the APA style and the CMS style. Over the years each writing style has been revised and newer editions have been released. There are times when there has been a gap of less than three years between the release of one edition and the release of the next edition. However, when the students begin their project, the university lays down what guidelines the students are required to adhere to and they do not change this requirement for the duration of the project.
Once the students tell the editor the edition of the writing style the university has prescribed for them, the editor then proceeds to look through the content using the rules of that particular edition. The complete set of guidelines for each edition of the Chicago manual or the APA manual or the MLA manual can be found on the Internet. In the pages of the manual every single detail can be found right down to what font to use and the spacing between the sentences. Additionally, if a student or a scholar is going to be spending a lot of their future in academia then they can even consider buying a paperback manual of certain editions and keeping it with them for constant reference.